I just have a quick point about David Greenberg's post below, which discusses Ryan Lizza's New Yorker piece on Bill Clinton. Greenberg writes: For example, in The New Yorker today there is a dig at the former president that repeats Barack Obama’s false claim that jobs “fell through the Clinton Administration and the Bush Administration.” Oddly, the piece--by Ryan Lizza, late of this magazine, and by all accounts a fair and careful reporter--fails to state explicitly, as a factual matter, that Obama was simply wrong about this claim.
The NBA playoffs started nine days ago, and for basketball fans they have been a treat. Still, even those of us who prefer the professional game to thirty seconds of passing the ball around the perimeter before putting up a 19-foot jumper college ball must admit that this first week-and-two-days has been ever so slightly disappointing. After what was by far the best regular season in decades (at least five blockbuster trades, the re-emergence of the league's two most storied franchises, the best conference in NBA history, the second longest winning streak ever), there have been some letdowns.
You gotta love this comment from Chris Wallace, which was made during the interview with Barack Obama that Josh mentions below: WALLACE: I wasn't sure whether I was even going to ask you about your former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, but he made it easy for me because he's now begun this public campaign to redeem his reputation. Oh, poor Chris Wallace. He and the fair and balanced Fox News team really did not want to ask about Reverend Wright, but, alas, Wright left them with no choice. --Isaac Chotiner
Jon Chait has already explained why attacks are more damaging to a candidate when they come from someone in his own party. But beyond that, there seems to be a logical flaw in the argument of Clinton apologists (e.g. Paul Krugman) who claim that the Clinton campaign's attacks are in fact acceptable politics. Here is Krugman in his Friday column: According to many Obama supporters, it's all Hillary's fault.
Just to add to Josh's perceptive thoughts below, the weirdest thing about the media coverage tonight (particularly CNN's) is that they are discussing the race as if it's not a zero-sum game (i.e. as if Obama or Clinton does not in fact have to win). So, for instance, I keep hearing that Obama "has to" cut into Clinton's base. Huh? Clinton is not cutting into Obama's base, and if he does not cut into hers, he still wins!
Over at The Stump, Noam has a post on the two campaigns' closing day strategies in Pennsylvania. Jumping off today's excellent NYT article on the subject, Noam adds: So far as I can tell, Obama is spending most of the day in the western part of the state. At first glance, you might wonder why he'd waste his time there, given that he's likely to lose many of those counties by at least 20 points. But, as the article suggests, that's exactly the point. Hillary would have to win the local congressional districts by better than a 60-40 margin (I think) to really pile up delegates.
John McCain's interview this morning on ABC's This Week was an all-around joke. Much of the show consisted of McCain getting angry or peeved, presumably because the questions he was forced to "answer" revealed his lack of even the barest domestic policy expertise. This exchange, however, was particularly egregious: STEPHANOPOULOS: What’s wrong with government — what’s wrong with government-run health care? MCCAIN: And we continue to have these debates — what’s wrong with it? Go to Canada. Go to England and you can find out what’s wrong with it. Governments don’t make the right decisions.
In Round III of his dispute with Jon Chait, Jamie writes: Lieberman won re-election in 2006 with a 10% margin. The Daily Kos-commissioned poll cuts that margin in half. So while the difference between Lieberman's 50%-40% share of the electorate and the poll's 48%-43% sample may fall within the statistical margin of error, the poll is nonetheless weighted in favor of Lamont. Not quite. To add to what Jon said earlier, you would expect Connecticut voters disappointed with Lieberman to say that they voted for Lamont. This always happens with unpopular incumbents.
We are now 45 minutes into the debate and there has not been a single question on the issues. Jon's post below is exactly right. Ugh. --Isaac Chotiner
Obama is doing a better job than Clinton of taking "inside baseball" questions and pivoting to the faltering economy. He even got, finally, some scattered applause. But, again, he looks exhausted. --Isaac Chotiner